Sometimes athletes tend to forget that sports are about nice competitive spirit, and that they should play by the books to give a good example to their youngest fans, and they need to be suspended a couple of games to get back on track in their NBA careers.
Nonetheless, there have been times when guys had to be suspended for more than just a game or two due to the big infractions they committed, to be punished in a more proper way and to try and prevent them from breaking the rules once again.
Today, we’ll remember these not so pretty aspect of the game, remembering the 10 longest NBA players suspensions.
10. Dennis Rodman
Way back then in 1997, the hard-nosed and polarizing Bulls Forward/Center kicked a cameraman in the groin after getting tangled up with him near the sidelines when the Bulls were playing the Timberwolves in Minnesota, earning an 11 day suspension from the association, as he was suspended previously for 6 days after he had headbutted a referee during the prior season.
9. Carmelo Anthony
During his stint with the Denver Nuggets, Carmelo Anthony had a 15 game suspension for punching Mardy Collins in the middle of a huge brawl against the New York Knicks. Who’d guess that Melo would wind up playing with the Knicks 12 years later, and the way Phil Jackson and the team have treated him seem to be even worse than the 15 games he had to sit.
Curiously, there were other guys suspended for the brawl, like Nate Robinson and JR Smith, but Carmelo had the longest suspension.
8. Jermaine O'Neal
The veteran and talented center also had to serve a 15 game suspension, although the original sentence stated that he had to sit for 25 games, but after an appeal, the league reconsidered the severity of the infraction. Back then as a member of the Indiana Pacers, O'Neal took a big part in the brawl against the Pistons, the so-called “Malice at the Palace”.
7. Hedo Turkoglu
The NBA handed a 20 game suspension to Hedo after he tested positive for steroids, specifically methenolone. Due to the league’s politics against the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs, the former Orlando Magic forward tainted what could’ve been a clean and nice career as one of the most successful foreign players to ever suit up in the Association.
6. Kermit Washington
After throwing a mean punch at Rudy Tomjanovich’s face just in front of the referees in a brawl back in 1977, Washington received a huge fine and a 26 game suspension, really hurting the Lakers and their showtime era, but clearly Rudy had the worst part of it and was seriously injured after the incident with Washington.
5. Stephen Jackson
One of the greatest and most underrated players in league history was also one of the players with the longest suspensions in the NBA, being forced to sit through 30 matchups for his implication in the Malice at the Palace brawl, as Jackson fought not only rivals, but also Pistons’ fans during one of the most infamous incidents in this sport.
4. Gilbert Arenas
Gilbert Arenas was one of the most talented and prolific scorers in the league, and it seemed like he was poised to reach stardom before being suspended for 50 games for storing a gun in the locker room and threatening his teammate Javaris Crittenton.
The worst part of it was the fact that he was already serving another suspension for carrying an unlicensed gun back in the 2009-2010 season.
3. Latrell Sprewell
Sprewell will go down as one of the most talented, yet dumb players the league has ever seen, winding up practically broke after being one of the league’s greatest stars during his prime with the Knicks and the Timberwolves. Besides, he had to serve a 68 game suspension for choking, punching and threatening PJ Carlesimo when he was the head coach of the Golden State Warriors during practice.
The original sentence was 82 games, but after appealing, he “just” had to sit for 68.
2. Ron Artest (Metta World Peace)
Well, we all know Artest has always been crazy, but that’s just why we love him. Being one of the best defenders in NBA history, the forward was suspended for 86 games after the Malice at the Palace, as he had altercations with several fans and punched some of them, and he had to be grabbed by no less than 3 men just to prevent him from seriously injuring anybody.
1. O.J. Mayo
The former number one prospect in the USA never reached his true potential in the NBA, mostly because of his lack of discipline. Mayo was handed a year ban from the Association for his violations of the league’s anti-drugs program, although the details of the infraction remain private, but considering the fact that he got a couple of years for the violation, he had to be really misbehaving, so let’s hope he can get his career back on track even if he never reaches his prime after that kind of stuff.